Kids’ Science and Engineering Day ignites STEM interest
Nearly 400 local elementary schoolers got a taste of outer space during this year’s Kids’ Science and Engineering Day, an annual event that strives to foster a passion for STEM in the next generation of scientists.
The event, now in its 14th year, introduces kids to scientific concepts through hands-on activities. It aims to inspire children to pursue STEM careers and develop an understanding of the role of science and engineering in their world.
The WSU chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) hosts the event with support from student clubs and local sponsorships. Charlotte Wertz, vice president of SWE, says the event is a catalyst in instilling STEM interest in the students who attended.
“The STEM field is growing exponentially and always has new opportunities. Kids getting involved at a young age can lead them to be more confident and successful scientists,” the electrical engineering senior said.
This year’s space-themed event featured a collaboration with WSU’s planetarium, which hosted several tours of the galaxy for kids and their parents. Nearly 30 STEM-focused student organizations and their representatives assisted with running each activity booth. Floating building blocks, solar system models and renewable energy demonstrations were among the 40 activities offered. WSU’s Energy Systems Innovation Center and Frank Innovation Zone also provided learning opportunities.
The fun, kid-focused event continues to provide local children with access to STEM activities to meet the growing demand for employees in scientific industries. Children from Pullman and surrounding rural areas return yearly to the event to fuel their fascination.
“Getting children excited and interested in STEM can be a life changing experience for them,” Katharine Whitman, mechanical engineering senior, said. “The university is such a big part of the community and being able to give back to it is what makes this event so great.”
The event was sponsored by Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, ASWSU and the Commission on the Status of Women.